Manchester City were cruising to a 2-0 win on the road at Watford before a late goal by Abdoulaye Doucouré led to a nervy last few minutes.
In the end, goals from Leroy Sané and Riyad Mahrez were enough to secure yet another good away result and restored City’s five-point lead at the top for now. It’s now seven Premier League wins in a row for the relentless champions.
Here’s how we rated the team after their win at Vicarage Road.
Ederson – 7.5
Made a fantastic save with his left leg to deny Deeney and was smoother than ever with his feet, the highlight being a cheeky no-look pass.
Kyle Walker – 6.5
He is defensively suspect at times and that is probably never going to change, but the England right-back made a couple of good interventions tonight. His pace continues to be a big asset in dealing with counter attacks or potential threats from opposition teams.
Vincent Kompany – 7
Starts are becoming increasingly rare for the City legend, but Vinnie played well tonight. Kompany was good for much of the night and just after he appeared to feel his hamstring the club captain he made a big tackle, before being replaced by Nicolas Otamendi.
John Stones – 7
With Laporte benched, Stones was partnered with Kompany and did a good job. No matter what the occasion, John always looks composed and classy with the ball at his feet.
Fabian Delph – 5
Not a great performance by Delph at left-back, where he has often been reliable. His mistake led to Doucouré’s late goal and could have cost City dearly but they stayed resolute and held on to their lead.
Fernandinho – 8
City press well as a unit so everyone does defensive work, but Fernandinho’s responsibility as the sole holding midfielder cannot be overlooked. He was fantastic tonight both defensively and in his contributions to team moves.
David Silva – 7.5
Actually misplaced a few passes tonight, which was strange, but Silva and his growing hair – with an improved hairline by the looks of it – still played a role in the match. Contributed one of his famous so-called ‘hockey assists’ where he created an assist by playing through Gabriel Jesus to set up Mahrez for City’s second.
Bernardo Silva – 8
A high quality performance from the Portuguese playmaker who was involved in so much going forward and, as we’ve become accustomed to, did his fair share of pressing and defensive work.
Riyad Mahrez – 9 (Man of the Match)
What a performance by the Algerian who was a menace to the Watford defence. At times he still makes the wrong decision, but his end product was there tonight. His cross should have created the first goal, then he got the ball back, and his next cross did, allowing Leroy Sané to casually chest the ball in. Mahrez added a second for the Blues and is a deserved Man of the Match tonight. Guardiola’s big decision right now is which of Sterling, Sané or Mahrez to drop for each game.
Leroy Sané – 8.5
Running Mahrez very close tonight was Sané who was an absolute terror on the other wing. Scored his 7th goal in all competitions this season, and is becoming one of Europe’s most productive attacking players at the ripe old age of 22. The sky is the limit for this young German who has it all – even his defensive work has improved!
Gabriel Jesus – 7.5
Once again we face the task of assessing a Gabriel Jesus performance. His missed chances – and he should have had at least one goal – will probably lead to disagreements with our rating, but he did pretty much everything except score. Another tireless performance and while he didn’t find the net, his work for Mahrez’s goal was good. We need a Premier League goal for Gabriel to see if that can revive his confidence in front of goal.
Ilkay Gundogan – N/A
He did have over 15 minutes on the pitch but it’s hard to remember him doing much besides passing.
Nicolas Otamendi – N/A
Replaced Kompany late on as Watford began to pile on the pressure.
Aymeric Laporte – N/A
City’s best defender this season arrived late in place of Gabriel Jesus, perhaps a sign of respect from Guardiola as he saw the intense pressure his team were under from Javi Gracia’s men in the dying moments.